Jim Jordan wants answers on Haitian accused of raping migrant

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who heads up the powerful House Judiciary Committee, launched an inquiry Tuesday into a Haitian charged with allegedly raping a migrant girl at a Massachusetts shelter last week, according to a letter obtained by the Herald.

Jordan and U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican, called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to release a range of case files on Cory Alvarez, 26, who entered the United States through a federal program, underwent two state sex offender checks, and is accused of raping a 15-year-old disabled girl at a state-run shelter in Rockland, according to law enforcement.

The two lawmakers said they are seeking files on Alvarez in their “continued oversight of federal immigration policy and procedures,” according to the letter, which was addressed to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Criminal aliens exploit vulnerabilities in our nation’s immigration system to the detriment of those in the United States. The Biden administration’s border and immigration policies only increase the likelihood that criminal aliens will successfully enter and remain in the U.S.,” the pair wrote in the letter, which asked the information be provided by April 2.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said the agency “cannot publicly comment further on an ongoing criminal investigation” and responds to congressional correspondence directly via “office channels.”

The 15-year-old girl from Haiti told police that Alvarez asked her “if she had a boyfriend, then pushed her on the bed and penetrated her,” according to court documents filed in Hingham District Court. That came after Alvarez allegedly had the 15-year-old go to his room at  the shelter to help with an electronic tablet, the court documents said.

“I asked him to leave me alone but he didn’t stop,” the girl told police, according to a report filed in court, which said the girl identified Alvarez from a lineup of photos.

Alvarez pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated rape of a child with a ten year age difference during a court appearance last week. Alvarez is being held in prison without bail pending the outcome of a dangerousness hearing scheduled for March 22, according to court records.

An attorney representing Alvarez previously said that he is entitled to the presumption of innocence “regardless of his place of birth or how he arrived here in Massachusetts.”

“He denies the allegations against him and I will be fighting the charges on his behalf,” Boston-based Attorney Brian Kelley said in a statement to the Herald last week.

An inquiry seeking further comment from Kelley was sent Tuesday evening.

The alleged rape set off a wave of Republican-fueled criticism of the emergency shelter system in Massachusetts, which houses more than 7,500 families, including migrants from other countries and local residents. The incident was even made an issue in the New Hampshire governor’s race.

Jordan and McClintock petitioned the Department of Homeland Security to release the time, date, and place of “any and all of the alien’s entries into the United States,” forms documenting any financial support Alvarez received from U.S.-based sponsors, his immigration history, benefit applications, immigration detention details, and other immigration records.

The two Republicans also want information about Alvarez’s processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, including if the agency was “alerted to derogatory information about the alien and what questions were asked of the alien during the screening process,” according to the letter.

Alvarez was screened and vetted against national security and public safety databases when he entered the United States and no “derogatory information”  was found, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

If an individual is determined to pose a threat to national security or public safety, the Department of Homeland Security denies entry, detains, removes, or refers the individual to other federal agencies for more vetting, investigation, or prosecution, according to the agency.

Alvarez, a national from Haiti, entered the United States “lawfully” through New York on June 26, 2023, according to James Covington, a spokesman for Boston Enforcement and Removal Operations of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,

An immigration detainer was lodged against Avlarez with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office on March 14, the same day he was arrested, Covington said. Alvarez was at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

The detainer is a request from ICE to local law enforcement to notify them before a noncitizen is released from custody so that ICE can take custody and start deportation proceedings, according to the federal agency.

Covington declined to say which program Alvarez entered the United States through, telling the Herald the information conflicts with Alvarez’s right to privacy and could impact removal proceedings against him.

But Gov. Maura Healey last week said Alvarez entered the country “lawfully under the federal government through a federal program” — though it was unclear which one — and that the man was vetted before entering shelter, a standard practice for all residents.

“We have security and systems in place. We have vetting in place. It is unfortunate that from time to time, things will happen … anywhere, not just in shelter, but anywhere,” Healey told reporters. “This is an allegation of sexual assault and rape. It’s one that we take very seriously. I’m glad that law enforcement was right on it.”

Cory Alvarez


Cory Alvarez

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